You know how very close friends sometimes quarrel over the most trivial things? The other night we were recalling how two of our friends had had a spat over a comment one of them made about the other’s outfit. Eventually they forgot what they had quarreled about and resumed being good friends.
“An insult over fashion?” we said. “Wala yan. Naaalala niyo noong nilait ako ng taong-grasa?” (That’s nothing. Remember when we were insulted by the homeless?)
We have these funny earrings we’re very fond of, made of empty super-glue tubes. One day we wore them to lunch with Chus at a cafe near Burgos. After the lunch, we were waiting for a taxi when we were approached by a homeless person completely covered in soot and grime. She walked up to us, stared at our earrings and said, with great concern, “Ate, bakit ganyan ang hikaw mo?” (Why are your earrings like that?) Yes, our fashion accessories were dissed by a street person.
After he had finished laughing, Leo suggested that we wear the super-glue earrings to a formal function or someplace where people are really dressed-up. As luck would have it, we had a lunch appointment with Toni and Martha the following day at Terraz in the new Zuellig Building on Makati Avenue.
We have been curious about the Zuellig Building, which not only has an arresting facade but is a certified Green building. It’s their corporate headquarters so we figured the people in it would be in business attire, i.e. not likely to be wearing earrings made of empty super-glue tubes.
So we found our super-glue earrings, which we haven’t worn since we were doing rugby coverage (They were an in-joke: rugby? super-glue?).
We were having coffee and dessert when the European man at the next table approached us. “I just want to say that I like your earrings!”
The moral of the story is—Well, there is no moral in this story. File under Differences in Taste/Cultural Differences: What may seem quirky/interesting to a foreigner can look like garbage to a street person. This is also true for cinema.
Do you watch Breaking Bad? It’s one of the best shows in the history of television, right up there with The Wire, The Sopranos, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The title comes from a southwestern American colloquialism: when someone who has always abided by the law suddenly veers off into wrongdoing and crime, he is said to be “breaking bad”. It could also mean “raising hell” or “turning evil”. Essentially that’s what happens to the series protagonist Walter White, played with hair-raising brilliance by Bryan Cranston (previously known as Malcolm in the Middle’s dad). (more…)
Ernie bought a handmade mosaic cross at a weekend market.
Attractive guy selling crosses: Why don’t you buy another cross?
Ernie: But…but…but there aren’t enough vampires in the building.
Attractive guy selling crosses: That’s funny! I like you!
Yes, you may use this for your LitWit entry.
Speaking of rom-coms, last week we saw Every Breath U Take starring Piolo Pascual and Angelica Panganiban. Well, an hour of it because we had to throw up. It’s a movie that made us ask ourselves: Are we on drugs?
It occurred to me today, as it has occurred to me many times in the past, that much of my stress is self-inflicted. Give me the tiniest germ of a thought and I will overthink it to smithereens. And while I am overthinking, I will think of myself overthinking and overthink my overthinking. It is a mental condition, I think. One may argue that I overthink for a living, but it does make life unnecessarily difficult.
Take today. I am going to Korea for the A5N tournament that starts late May but I am going to London next week and will be away for a couple of weeks. When I get back I’d have to rush my Korean visa application. What if I don’t get it on time? Okay, I’ll get it before I go to London. But what if I don’t get it by next week, I can’t fly without a passport aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa overthink overthink.
The Korean visa takes 3 days (If you have US/UK/Aus/NZ visas and have been to Korea before. Otherwise it takes 5 days). (more…)
My druid trained me to regard the vernal equinox as the beginning of a new cycle. I spent the last day of the old cycle doing something my druid would approve of: housecleaning.
Begin longish intro. I had the same cleaner for more than a decade. He would come in every Sunday afternoon to dust, scrub, and try to keep the cat fur to oxygen ratio down to a manageable (“breathing still possible”) level. The cleaner was a trustworthy little old guy, he knew where everything was, and the cats liked him. (Other people they ignore pointedly, still others they run away from screaming, “The Uruks have come! Muster the Rohirrim!”) Unfortunately he’s had a run of bad luck and had to move to Cavite with his family. It didn’t make sense for him to commute for hours just to clean my house on Sundays. So he quit and it was sad as hell because he probably regards me as an inept child with no domestic skills.
My sister, who if the word existed would be called ept, said their laundrywoman could be the new cleaner. She is also trustworthy, and the cats seemed to approve of her. She’d done some jail time, but it was because she pulled a knife on an abusive boyfriend. You can’t blame her for that. (Reminds me of a conversation I had with Bernard-Henri yesterday about a common friend—Martin Amis says this is the correct term, not “mutual friend”–who’d tried to rip him off on a project. We agreed that we could not hate common friend because he can’t help ripping people off, it’s his nature.) She came by the other Sunday to clean, but last Sunday she said she couldn’t make it, and then yesterday she didn’t appear. Clearly she doesn’t want the job. So I ended up doing spring cleaning.
It so happened that I was in my semi-annual cleaning frenzy mode. The other day I organized my closet and put away a bunch of clothes I haven’t worn in years and am not likely to wear again. I even found 4 or 5 outfits I’d forgotten I’d bought. Memo: If you have clothes you’ve never worn, you probably have enough clothes. The day before that I was at National Bookstore in Rockwell when I was reminded of all the prizes for the Weekly LitWit Challenges that have not been claimed by the winners. Customer Service’s shelves were about to burst from the stuff so I took back all the prizes that have not been claimed since December. (The very next day someone tried to claim his books. Sorry about that.)
And two days earlier I defrosted my refrigerator. Why I don’t defrost more often I have no idea–you only have to push a button. Instead I wait until the freezer is sealed shut by a thick coat of solid ice to push the blasted button. True, I don’t eat at home so my fridge contains coffee for the machine, cheese, a huge bottle of Chinese “champagne” that no one wants to try, and leftover restaurant meals that have sprouted new life forms. Getting the freezer open took 2 days.
Before yesterday’s housecleaning I surveyed the castle keep and decided that the problem is not dirt but clutter. As in stuff. Did I really need to keep the boxes of cameras, phones, gadgets I’ve had for years? Why do they still make phonebooks? Why did I save these empty gift packages? Sure they’re pretty, but I’m never going to recycle them, am I. They all went into two big trash bags. Memo: Don’t keep anything just because it’s cute. It won’t look so cute when it’s grimy. Throw it away. What project, you’re never going to make that assemblage. Throw! Now!
Then came the tedious part: sifting through boxes and bags of paper. Receipts from trips I took ten years ago–why do I still have these? Outdated city guides, fliers, museum floor plans, press kits for film festival entries, free magazines–Take One, the sign always says; from hereon say No!–stuff that has cluttered my house for years for no reason.
However I did find drafts of stories I’d forgotten I’d written, and clippings of articles I don’t remember writing. I’m like a factory of disposable prose. It’s a good thing I’ve never had a printer or I would’ve vanished under a sea of paper years ago (See the scene from Terry Gilliam’s Brazil).
Decluttering added at least three cubic meters of space to my house. After this Herculean labor cleaning the litter box was almost amusing (disgusting, but amusing). Happy New Year to you all.
Chus my friend and genius hairstylist spent New Year’s Eve on a plane to Los Angeles.
Me: Sana pagbalik mo makatabi mo sa business class si Neil Etheridge. Happy New Year! (I hope that when you fly back you sit in business class next to the goalie of the Azkals national football team.)
Chus: Yes! Sana! May cute na guy sa tapat ko as I text u! Hotness! Oooh! (I hope! As I text there is a cute guy right in front of me.)
Me: Sabihin mo, Excuse me, are you an Azkal? (Ask him if he’s an Azkal.)
Chus: Hahaha! Nagta-Tagalog and his boots are a dead giveaway—is a gay!
Me: Ay Azkla!
On my birthday Chus gave me several pairs of Happy Socks. I love them, they make excellent presents. They would make great boyfriend presents but for something my druid told me years ago. She said, Don’t give shoes, socks, or watches to persons you are romantically-involved with. (Note that she used the plural form, my druid is wise.) If you give them footwear or socks they will walk away from you, and if you give them a watch the relationship will end. (Screw the superstition, it’s the symmetry that gets me, like an ironic foreshadowing.)
So take this Patek Philippe watch away from me! Now! For the last time, I do not want a tourbillon. Haha.
Last week in rings: Cat and mouse ring from Ramon who found it in a bazaar, a ring that changes color but is not a mood ring from Noel who found it in Trilogy.